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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

When Black is Gold

Just a few hours ago, I received a mass SMS from Joy (a friend from NTV7) to go fill up my tank as fuel price will rise by 0.78 sen per litre tomorrow. How very sudden I thought. Thanks to this, while everyone dashed for the pumps like there's no tomorrow, I got stuck in horrendous traffic for hours, just trying to get home for dinner. Silly I thought... how long can one full tank last? How much money can one save, really.... Duh. Definitely not worth MY TIME getting myself piled up in a queue for god knows how many hours just to fill one full tank for only that once. But I suppose oil is as good as gold for many now and in time to come...

Not very used to being stuck in jams, as I always choose to avoid them at all cost. Well, stricken by frustration and boredom, I started to blog behind the wheel. You see, TIME to me is GOLDEN.

I just received pictures taken at a dinner party I attended with associates from all over Asia several nights ago at Saint Pierre Restaurant in Singapore. Yup, that’s Chef In Black, Emmanuel Stroobant’s restaurant! I’ve already met the guy once before, but very briefly in KL at the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival last year, when he was judge for the ‘Malaysia Truly Asia Dish’ which called for chefs from all participating restaurants, including ours from both Tamarind Springs and Il Tempio, to cook up a storm.

Well, Emmanuel’s restaurant is now new member of Relais & Chateaux making Saint Pierre Tamarind Springs' official ‘brother’. This is just great. I’ve always been a fan. Striking individuals always attract curious ones so I was really looking forward to speaking with him off camera. If you must know, he's very very shy! His sun-reddened face looked as if he was perpetually blushing....

That night, I’ve had the privilege to not only visit his restaurant but feast on his culinary expertise. All his dishes looked almost as striking as the Chef In Black himself.

Now I'm not a food critic therefore I'm not about to start analysizing what I ate nor is this a food review. This is just an account of my experience with Chef In Black.

The Menu

japanese tuna belly & momtaro tomato with organic shiso leaves & holy basil oil

tetaki of langoustine with daikon fettucini, langoustine consomme infused with matsutake mushrooms & oscetra caviar tuile

Then his crispy panfried foi gras with caramelized nashi pear & old port emulsion landed. It is TO DIE FOR. And I, totally inhaled it. Lost all urgency to photograph it first :P sorry. Well, be sure to order it when you do dine at St.Pierre because foie gras is what they're renowned for. So the menu continues....

homemade indian mango sorbet
white miso marinated atlantic cod with warm salad of nasu & shiraz dressing
sarawak pineapple caramelized with macassar spices infused ice-cream
grandma stroobant's flourless chocolate cake with homemade banana jam & creme anglaise spherification

The dessert was interesting visually as it was served in a country-style glass jar with lid! Too bad by then I could only feast with my eyes for I had no room left for even a peanut.

I must not fail to add that service at St. Pierre was world-class. Great staff with brilliant eyes and excellent professionalism. Bravo, very envious....

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